Italian Cooking: Toscana

The second part of cooking pappardelle ragù di cinghiale is making pasta from scratch.

Pappardelle is a fresh pasta that falls in the category of pasta called ‘cutters,’ so called because it’s rolled into sheets and cut into long flat ribbons. Pappardelle is distinguished from it’s cousins by it’s width and thickness. It is rolled very thin at 1-2mm (less than 1/10 inch ) thick and cut very wide at 2-3 cm (3/4 to 1 1/2 inches).

Pappardelle originates from Tuscany where is it is the pasta of choice for slow cooked sauces make with wild game. The name pappardelle comes from ‘pappare‘ meaning to eat rapidly.

I’ve made fresh pasta before and had all the necessary equipment. The one quandary I had was how to measure 1mm of thickness. My pasta roller didn’t specify thickness in terms of millimeters. Rather, it specified it in types of pasta.

Unhelpfully, it did not specify pappardelle. I selected the next-to-the-thinnest setting #7.

It’s very relaxing to make pasta. It’s magical how eggs and flour change into silky sheets of supple dough. With my KitchenAid doing all the real work, it was easy to fall into a zen state of feeding the dough, rolling it out, feeding it in, rolling it out, feeding, rolling …  

Afterwards, I worried that I’d worked it too much. That maybe more than once, I’d rolled it to the thinnest setting #8 instead of #7. It didn’t matter. The pasta cooked up well and it was marvellous with the ragù.

By the way, I never did find wild boar. I used a pork shoulder roast instead. Since I’ve never tasted boar before, I had nothing to compare. The ragù tasted just fine.

For my cooking week on Tuscany, the dishes were Pappardelle al Ragù (made with pork, red wine, rosemary and sage) and Gurguglione al Forno (roasted potatoes, peppers, eggplant and zucchini.)

Next up is the region of Marche and a speciality dish from the coastal city of Ancona. I hope you’ll join me!


  1. My cousin once made me a dish with pasta made from scratch. It was delicious! I’ve bought fresh pasta from time to time since then, but never attempted it from scratch. Your dish looks delicious, Sandy. Looking forward to what comes next.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. … just qualify, I don’t REALLY recommend using a rolling pin. It looks like a lot of hard work and skill is involved. Enough to put off even the most determined cook

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad it all worked out so well. The Gurguglione al Forno dish sounds tasty too! I’ve been to Ancona and travelled a fair bit in Marche but I don’t recall a specific dish so I’ll be interested to see what it is 🙂

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